Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stay out of my space

This afternoon I found myself getting more & more irritated with a coworker. She sent me a couple of spreadsheets and came over to my cubicle to explain what she wanted done with them. In the process of explaining she put a hand on my back while pointing at the monitor with the other hand. She was very hesitant and unsure in her explanations, making it difficult to understand what she needed done. Then, instead of asking me to sort by a certain category, she started instructing me on HOW to sort. Are you kidding me?! What kind of idiot needs to be told how to use an autofilter, especially after demonstrating the ability to do vlookup and concatenate formulas?!

I'm afraid I got a little snippy with her, asking why she required me to highlight certain rows in yellow and why I needed to look up the values of spreadsheet A in the database when that spreadsheet had just been pulled moments before from the same database. She wanted me to take 150 rows of data from spreadsheet A and look for it in spreadsheet B to see if it matched, then look at the database to see if it also matched and highlight the data in spreadsheet B if it did. One row at a time. I'm sorry, but if there's a quick way to do something I'm choosing it. Every time. Almost every time. Okay, if there's a quick way to do something work-related I'm choosing it every time.

Anyway, she's kind of a sensitive person. Anxious, needs approval. I can tell by the way she's always chewing on something when people are talking to her; fingernails, pen caps, etc. She said I could do it the way I thought was best (oh, don't worry, I intended to) and left before she could annoy me any further.

When I had cooled down a little I pondered my reaction. What made me get so mean? Was it because I sensed a weaker person and I was raised in a family that didn't tolerate weakness? Was it that her neediness reminded me of the clingy cat lady? Maybe. But I think the biggest irritant was having that hand on my back and feeling like I couldn't shrug it off. It made me feel threatened somehow.

I don't like to be touched. Not at all. That was one of the reasons I panicked about that date last year. The idea of him being in my house and expecting to get some action was revolting. No no no no no! I like to have a lot of empty space around me, especially when I'm just getting to know you. As we become better friends that space could shrink. If I'm attracted to a guy and he hasn't managed to disqualify himself then I'm open to getting physical - but usually I'm so scared that I start shivering.

I guess all of this is fodder for another session with my future therapist. I feel bad about being rude to her. I debated explaining it to her but couldn't think of a way that wouldn't come out mean. How do you tell someone to not touch you and, while they're at it, please remain at least 24 (if not 36) inches away at all times? Whichever way I spin it she's going to have her feelings hurt.


Anon A Moose said...

I hate it when I get someone touching or leaning over me like that. I also HATE when someone tries to tell me something I already damn well know how to do! I'm a frakking genius! You don't have to explain it to me! Do you want to see my Mensa card?!

One of a dozen said...

Anon! I'm so flattered that you stopped by; you're one of my favorite authors.

And yes, I DO want to see your Mensa card.

The Joe said...

Anon sounds kinda sanctimonious. What a douche. But I agree with you about the space thing. Leave my bubble!